How to Complain about Fake Food, Medicine and other Products in Nigeria
Selling fake food, drugs and other products meant for consumer use, is not only a crime, but a very despicable thing to do. Fake or counterfeit includes not only products that are the exact opposite of what they are labelled as, e.g. someone selling paracetamol which is really just peppermints, but also includes things which may be contaminated or contain the wrong or no active ingredient. They could have the right active ingredient but at the wrong dose. Ingesting fake or counterfeit products could be very disastrous for the health of the person, and that is why it is viewed as a very serious crime. People have died from things like fake drugs in Nigeria, and the NAFDAC has been on the forefront of fighting counterfeiters.
So, if it is such a despicable thing to do, and is also a criminal offence, then why is the sale and manufacture of fake products like medicines, drugs, and foods still rampant in Nigeria? Well there are a number of reasons for this, the most obvious reason is that it is a lucrative crime. Producing things like medicines or foods which meet up to established standards can sometimes be a long and expensive process, but in some cases it is extremely easy to produce a fake, having only the appearance of an authentic product.
The fact that it is so easy/cheaper to make a fake product look like an original one means that an unsuspecting member of the public can be easily fooled into buying and consuming this product. To combat this, NAFDAC has created a process for detecting a fake product, and alerting them so they can act. It is an easy and straightforward 2 step process:
If you suspect that any product might be fake, or in fact you should make it a habit, to always check that the product is genuine. NAFDAC has a handy tool for this. All products must have a NAFDAC registration number, and so before you buy or consume any product in Nigeria, do a quick check to see that it is a genuine product. Go to this link – http://nafdacverify.com.ng/ , and then enter the registration number. If the number turns up as unrecognised, then you should move to step 2 below.
Go to https://www.nafdac.gov.ng/about-nafdac/contact-nafdac/complaints-and-enquiries/ and make a complaint using the complaint form. Ensure that you have all the relevant information to make the complaint, including the name of the product and when/where you purchased it.
Ideally, what should happen is that NAFDAC receives and reviews the complaint, and then should contact you for a follow up and more information. After which the investigations department of NAFDAC will swing into action to identify whether the product is indeed fake, and if it is, take action to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators, and also to recall the product and remove it from circulation.
If for any reason, any of the steps above do not work. The contact NAFDAC directly by going to their offices – http://www.nafdac.gov.ng/index.php/about-nafdac/zonal-office to make a complaint.
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We hope you have found this information helpful. Please note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. This answer is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer.